Since last Tuesday, October 1, 2013, the government shut-down has forced several U.S. governmental agencies to reduce operations and furlough employees. This has not been the case for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which has remained operational due to a reserve fund from prior fee collections. For automotive companies and other Patent Applicants, this means new Patent Applications can still be filed and pending Applications may be furthered toward issuance. To caveat, unless a new federal debt limit is approved, the USPTO may be forced to reduce/stop its operations as federal spending approaches the current debt limit.